Previously on Drag Race: Our favorite hookers played the Snatch Game and Gottmik proved once and for all she’s a real contender. Denali had trouble standing out from the other girls—or rather, having her talent acknowledged the way it should. Utica Queen was repeatedly critiqued for being the wrong kind of weird. But AT THE END OF THE DAY, Elliott with 2 Ts was the one to go home.
Most queens would be shooketh after almost being eliminated, but Utica is feeling amazing after her lip-sync. She tells the other girls her performance totally rejuvenated her and lit a whole new spark in her that she didn’t have earlier.
It’s an unusual state of mind for someone to be in post-lip-sync, which either means Utica is totally in denial about what just happened or that she’s a much stronger person than most and is about to have a huge Rudemption moment this season.
A couple of the other queens are slightly more anxious about their placement in the competish, namely Tina Burner and Olivia Lux. Olivia worries that she’s losing her momentum after her two wins in a row earlier this season.
This week, the mini-challenge is uh… a session with a medium who gets to tell the queens things about themselves. What? Huh? How is that a challenge? Who is this woman and why is she talking to our girls? Did she quarantine for two weeks before this?
Most of the session is harmless stuff, like interpersonal relationships between the queens, but randomly in the middle, medium Char Margolis throws in something about Tina Burner’s dead dad apologizing for their difficult relationship.
The queens are paired up “based on the readings” this week, which is an interesting way of saying these are the pairs that the producers have decided will yield the best results. However, the challenge itself is super well thought-out: the girls will be making each other over as themselves, and will then need to impersonate each other on the runway. So it’s a makeover challenge AND an acting challenge!
Tina Burner is assigned Rosé as a partner, which she’s excited about because the two of them have never worked together in Brita City. Rosé, though, is a little less thrilled—mostly because, as she admits in her confessional, she hates Tina’s aesthetic.
Speaking of nervous pair-ups, Symone and Utica are struggling to get each other’s style. Utica is conceptual and weird and has these strange explanations for her garments that don’t always make sense, while Symone’s brand of Black excellence clashes with Utica’s intense fear of cultural appropriation and backlash.
Kandy Muse and Gottmik are facing a very different kind of struggle: their bodies are extremely different, and none of their garments will fit each other. Not only do they have to work on mopping each other’s personalities, but they also need to completely alter their outfits so they’ll fit.
As the queens are painting each other the next day, Gottmik talks about his transition and what his drag had to look like for a while. Because transitioning while doing drag was putting Mik in accidental boxes (like “bio queen”), he chose to apply an unrealistic clown-like aesthetic to his painting in order to differentiate himself. He struggled a lot with his relationship with feminity. It took a lot of work to get to the confident artist he is today.
Ru’s Lewk Ruview:
I like the hair, but that weird bra illusion this dress is attempting to serve looks very strange. Not a fan.
Here come the makeovers!
Rosé opens the show as Tina Burner. The makeup is a little rough and the green dress isn’t very representative of Tina’s aesthetic. I guess the mediocre reveal under it is very Tina. Rosé does a good job with what she’s given, though.
Tina definitely looks better as Rosé than the other way around. I don’t love how disconnected the bright pink hair is from the outfit, but the makeup is cute and Tina looks pretty good.
Denali went the easy route with Olivia Lux, putting her in the wig that was part of her entrance look so it’s instantly recognizable. Olivia does her best imitating a skating motion without skates on. It’s not too bad, though knowing what Denali can do with looks, it’s a little underwhelming.
Who dis?! Denali as Olivia, uh… doesn’t look like Olivia at all. I’m not sure why Olivia thought wavy hair and a pageant gown were representative of her aesthetic when we’ve barely seen her in either all season. The result is a Denali lewk that’s nice, but not at all in line with the challenge. Yikes.
Symone looks so different as Utica Queen. Utica gave her this crazy outfit involving trying to break out of a metaphorical flesh prison (or something, idk) and Symone is imitating all of Utica’s weird body movements on the runway—minus the facial expressions, which the judges hate. Smart girl.
Utica is completely transformed in this B.A.P.S.-inspired lewk Symone gave her. She’s paying homage to Black culture without appropriating and it is tasteful and fabulous. Most importantly, Utica is completely suppressing her urge to act silly on the runway: she’s behaving like a real model! I’m so proud.
Gottmik does her damnedest to emulate Kandy Muse’s exuberant personality. Kandy had to do some serious retooling on that bodysuit so it would fit Mik’s tiny frame, so I’ll definitely give credit where credit is due. Also, I love those sunglasses.
Mik did a fantastic job on Kandy—that outfit is beautiful and the matching makeup is irreproachable. Kandy also does a really fun job bringing Mik’s sensual model vibe to the runway. It’s a great showing.
The girls are being judged as pairs start to finish this week, which doesn’t bode well for some of these combos.
Tina and Rosé were passable—Michelle Visage even comments that Rosé’s look matched Tina’s “questionable” aesthetic, which is a read if I’ve ever heard one. Denali did okay, but Olivia completely failed to make Denali look Olivia-like. Symone and Utica did a beautiful job taking each other’s aesthetics and heightening them entirely. And Kandy and Gottmik had a blast imitating each other on the runway, and it showed.
Time for some drama: RuPaul asks the queens who should go home tonight. Most of the girls name Olivia Lux. Denali singles out Kandy, who reacts in typical Kandy fashion: by reading her and Olivia the house down boots.
In Untucked, Kandy continues to fume over Denali naming her as the one who should go home. Denali finally speaks up, saying she knew she and Olivia did the worst this week and she couldn’t name herself or her partner—so she named Kandy because she knew Kandy is a strong enough person to hear that and be fine. She doesn’t think Kandy should go home at all.
Denali is looking super defeated. Even though Olivia got way worse critiques, the fact is the dolls are judged in pairs this week and logically, there’s a very good chance she might go home here. It sucks.
Now for some joy: Symone was so relieved to get to play a different kind of character on the runway this week and have fun, rather than being her badass self. She thanks Utica for allowing her to do that. Utica turns the compliment right back around at Symone, saying she got to feel like a powerful woman stomping down the runway instead of the goofy nut she usually is.
Kandy gets a message from her mom—who looks SO young. It’s a super sweet moment. (Get it? Sweet… nevermind.)
Symone and Utica win!
Unfortunately, it is as we feared: Olivia has dragged Denali into the bottom two with her. They must lip-sync to “Shackles (Praise You)” by Mary Mary.
Not only is Denali a little too crushed to be her usual entertaining self on the stage, but the gown she’s wearing prevents her from moving around the way she should. It’s hard to watch.
For Olivia, it’s the opposite: Denali’s long braided wig serves her well as she twirls around on the stage and manages to win herself another week in the competition.
I should be mad. I should be sad. But I knew from very early on in the season that RuPaul and the producers had no intention of letting Denali be the frontrunner she so deserved to be. It sucks so bad. But after Jan last year, I know not to get too hopeful with queens who aren’t the producers’ pick. Denali is a fiercely talented gal who’s going to do great things—maybe even All Stars. In the meantime, I wish her the best. She deserves it.
Who wants a Doll Call?
Rosé – One of the best parts of this episode was Rosé constantly shading Tina’s style and taste level. It was an absolute delight and for that, I am grateful. Long live Rosé, Queen of Scots and Shade.
Tina Burner – Tina is still barely skating by, and this week Michelle acknowledged that her aesthetic is pretty lame. I don’t think Tina will be able to save herself at this point; she’s just not shining in any way among these other queens.
Olivia Lux – Olivia had a rough week. From back-to-back wins to being named by most of the queens as the one who should go home, there’s a chance her top four position is in danger now. She’s going to have to seriously redeem herself to get back to where she was earlier in the competition.
Symone – Symone hadn’t had a win in a long time, so it’s good to see her doing well again. She stumbled a bit halfway through the season, but I still don’t think there’s any doubt she’s one of the strongest competitors in this batch.
Utica Queen – This challenge was exactly what Utica needed to hopefully get out of her own head: a chance to see she doesn’t have to be silly and goofy and can be just as powerful as the rest of these girls on the runway. She certainly has the aesthetic to back it up.
Gottmik – Mik continues to be a star in this competition with a perfect track record so far. Is there anything she can’t do? This one is headed straight to the finals, that’s certain.
Kandy Muse – It’s been so nice seeing Kandy thrive after almost being eliminated, proving maybe RuPaul was right to keep her after all. I’ve enjoyed seeing her (mostly) mellow out and continue to provide good television.